Redstone is a pretty new course and serves as the final tuneup before Augusta.  You know?  It’s not a half bad practice track either as it’s ANGC long at 7,457 yards from the tips with tree-lined fairways and greens that are usually rolling as smooth as a baby’s butt.  Whether it’s the last event before the Masters or quality of the course as a real preparation, the Shell Houston Open is now a legitimately strong event drawing most of the top pros including Phil, Sergio, Vijay, Rory, AK and Adam Scott amongst others like Charles Howell III and Davis Love III who are trying to get their way into the event they both hold dear.

There are two holes in particular that stand out as true challenges, No. 11 and No. 18.  It’s most likely going to be a scoring bonanza and these holes are crucial to navigate without doing any serious damage.

No. 11 is a medium-long par 4 with water all along the right side of both the fairway and green.  This hole’s difficulty is evident right off the bat as it’s one of the most indimidating tee shots these guys will have faced so far this year.  With water on the right and a fairway bunker on the left, right at the optimum landing spot for a big drive, the landing zone is small, and if the course is dry, which it typically is, the fairways will be fast and you could roll into the bunker even if you hit a great drive.

The green is guarded by water on the right and two large, deep bunkers on the left.  The putting surface itself isn’t overly difficult, but if you find one of the bunkers, an up and down isn’t a guarantee.  Miss right or long and you’re screwed.

No. 18 is a long par 4 and is the hardest hole on the course.  Your drive is almost as intimidating as it was at no. 11 and you have to carry over water as far as you can stomach.  Even if you get “lucky” and miss left but stay dry, you’ll be in a fairway bunker with a near impossible approach shot.

Your approach from the fairway is daunting with the Sunday pin position in the back left.  The aggressive play is a smooth draw to the pin, but if you over draw it, you’re going to end up in the water to the left.  There’s a bunker at the right and it’s not an easy sand shot from there.  It’s a testing hole to close out the tournament, and it’s not a hole you want to be aggressive with if you have to make up ground.

Cool course.